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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Sony Pictures- 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English ,English SDH
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Eric Christian Olsen
Directed by: Alan Poul
Music by: Stephen Trask
Written by: Kate Angelo
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 24, 2010

"Fall in love. Get married. Have a baby. Not necessarily in that order."

Film Synopsis:

Zoe is a single New Yorker who dreams about meeting Mr. Right, having a baby and living happily ever after. But after a string of Mr. Wrongs, Zoe commits to her back-up plan: to take on motherhood alone. Zoe's plan proves far from foolproof when she's swept up into a whirlwind romance with Stan, the man of her dreams. Can Zoe hide her pregnancy until Stan is ready for the truth? Or will the truth send him packing? The Back-Up Plan is a hilarious romantic comedy about courtship, love, marriage and parenthood - but not necessarily in that order!

My Take:

Poor Zoe. She is getting up there and her biological clock is ticking. I guess the market for a super gorgeous, smart and wealthy self employed woman is on the decline. Instead of possibly missing her opportunity, Zoe takes matters into her own hands (or uterus) and gets artificially inseminated.

Dear Zoe,

Next time just shoot me a PM and Ill see if I can come help you out.


Ok...Let me ask you this. If you were a Romantic Comedy writer would you waste any time having Zoe meet the man of her dreams? Wouldn't it be all cooky and so super ironic to have them bump into each-other right as she walks out of the OBGYN after getting her 'fill'?? Well, thats how 'The Back-up Plan' rolls, my friends. It's a cliché a minute, a 'saw that coming a mile away' and is a forced romance that isn't romantic or funny. We are then treated to 90 minutes of should I tell him, shouldn't I, to break ups and get back together's. All descending on the inevitable, you guessed it---spoiler ahead---, the big shocker, twins and of course the sticky sweet happy ending of a proposal.

It isn't ALL bad. The chemistry between Jennifer Lopez's Zoe and Alex O'Loughlin's Stan works well, as does most of the actors. There are a few funny gags, and the script, for all its lack of vision, is peppy enough to be added to the annals of semi-passable Rom-Com's. It is watchable, but what we have here is failure to deliver anything original or all that fun. Unfortunately they just don't make em' like that used to. How I long for the days of The Sluggers Wife, or even Sleepless in Seattle! OK I'll admit, I did like You've Got Mail quite a bit. So take it from this sap, 'The Back-Up Plan' is the perfect title for this flick.

Parental Guide:

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including references, some crude material and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 90

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

'The Back-up Plan' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release of 'The Back-up Plan' features vivid and blemish free 2.35:1 1080p video. Just ask Jennifer Lopez's toes. They will tell you all you need to know about this transfer. The wrinkles, the cuticles, the chipped nail polish; we see it all in startling high definition. And thats just the opening frames. Sony hits us with another near perfect transfer with a vibrant albeit at time unrealistic color palette. Well that isn't fair, its the lightning and cinematography that made the evening scenes look so colorful...like they were under lights like that of a film crew...ok that was a pet peeve. It still looks great like the rest of this video presentation. Black levels and resolution leave nothing to be desired and I cant find much wrong here. You can even see some healthy film grain if you look close enough. The DTS-HD MA track is perfect for what is on screen. All dialogue is prioritized, the music is dynamic and there is just enough ambiance in the effect channels to make it feel like we are there. There is nothing mind-blowing or system limit pushing and I assume audio will never be a reason 'The Back-up Plan' is rented, and that is OK. Its not made that way. However, for what it is, it sounds perfect and hits all its marks.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Belly Laughs: Making 'The Back-Up Plan'

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) Trailers: Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, The Runaways, Nine, Not the Messiah, The Young Victoria, Charlie's Angels, and To Save a Life.

  • BD-Live

  • movieIQ

Final Thoughts:

Sony's Blu-ray releases hardly ever disappoint and this is no exception. Technically speaking this is a winner. The direction, the acting and the transfer are all top notch. Its just a mindless flick that fails on its most simple and needed levels. If you are making a drama make it dramatic. Make a horror flick scary or bloody. Well please make your romantic comedies romantic and funny, PLEASE!!! Like I said, 'The Back-up Plan' is a perfect title for this movie. If all else is unavailable in your Rom-Com rental cue, then this will do just fine.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer

7,586 Posts
Great review Lee. Frankly I'm surprised they didn't release this in 3D

818 Posts
it is only fair to alternate netflix selections with my wife. As a result, I have this seemingly lousy movie on its way to my mailbax now.

1,763 Posts
This was another bummer rom com movie. I wonder how many more I can sit through. It seems like this year there has been more rom coms (bad ones at that) than in past years.

1,347 Posts
Excellent review Lee, I agree!

For me, this one failed to provide any kind of interest in the characters.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Lopez can’t find someone for all these years, and then just happens to find Mr. Right the moment she walks of the building after getting artificially inseminated? Too contrived.

Also, it was hard for me to put a lot of effort into wanting their relationship to work out, when we know it is some strangers kids that she is pregnant with. The whole relationship just seemed weird, and forced.

There were a few funny and romantic moments, but they were too few and far between. I would recommend looking elsewhere for a decent romantic comedy.

PQ 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 2.5 out of 5

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